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2020 Montana deer recap

JT88

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 2, 2020
Messages
192
Location
Montana
Montana deer hunting is only going to get better when this muzzleloader bill passes and we add a 9 day muzzeloader season on to our already 11 week long archery/rifle season.
I'll be out there with my kentucky rifle and coonskin cap combing the hills :ROFLMAO:
 

Hunting_Oregon

New member
Joined
Nov 23, 2013
Messages
12
They tried the point restrictions years ago in SW Mt. They failed in the areas I am familiar with. Here is a 3 year old buck my brother shot years back. Cementum aged. Bucks like this need to live to be old in order to have big bucks. It will never happen with over the counter, full month of November hunting. Good management can't be replaced. We have never seen widespread good mule deer management in Montana. The big bucks of the 60s happened with 2 deer either sex management. It worked because there were large sanctuary areas and low predator numbers. Good mule deer hunting in MT is always temporary, mainly because management doesn't adapt to changing conditions.

View attachment 167443

They tried the point restrictions years ago in SW Mt. They failed in the areas I am familiar with. Here is a 3 year old buck my brother shot years back. Cementum aged. Bucks like this need to live to be old in order to have big bucks. It will never happen with over the counter, full month of November hunting. Good management can't be replaced. We have never seen widespread good mule deer management in Montana. The big bucks of the 60s happened with 2 deer either sex management. It worked because there were large sanctuary areas and low predator numbers. Good mule deer hunting in MT is always temporary, mainly because management doesn't adapt to changing conditions.

View attachment 167443
That is a killer three year old.
 

alecvg

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
9
Wow what a depressing thread. I don’t want to see lost opportunities. I think making an antler point restriction (4 point or better) would make strides in helping age structure. I don’t want to see Montana turn into every other state where you can barely hunt Mule deer- I’d rather have a little less quality and more opportunity.
My experiences have been great the last few years. This year I spent the first 10 days of season hunting elk, in an area with not very many deer historically. Killed a mature bull, spent the third weekend of season on public land in SE Montana, in 1 1/2 days of hunting did turn up one heavy, mature buck, just didn’t have the tine length I was looking for that early in the season. The next weekend I headed to NE Montana, and shot my buck at noon on the first day there, after seeing well over a hundred deer, with pretty damn good bucks to doe ratios, and several mature bucks. For reference, mine was an old, heavy 3x4 with bases just shy of 6” and scoring in the mid 150’s.
I know that’s not the quality some people want, but I was pretty happy after only truelly hunting 3 days for deer. My experience has been pretty similar the last few years. If I want a chance at higher scoring deer, I’ll use up my points in other states that I can only hunt for every 4-8 years.
 

timmy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
502
Wow what a depressing thread. I don’t want to see lost opportunities. I think making an antler point restriction (4 point or better) would make strides in helping age structure. I don’t want to see Montana turn into every other state where you can barely hunt Mule deer- I’d rather have a little less quality and more opportunity.
My experiences have been great the last few years. This year I spent the first 10 days of season hunting elk, in an area with not very many deer historically. Killed a mature bull, spent the third weekend of season on public land in SE Montana, in 1 1/2 days of hunting did turn up one heavy, mature buck, just didn’t have the tine length I was looking for that early in the season. The next weekend I headed to NE Montana, and shot my buck at noon on the first day there, after seeing well over a hundred deer, with pretty damn good bucks to doe ratios, and several mature bucks. For reference, mine was an old, heavy 3x4 with bases just shy of 6” and scoring in the mid 150’s.
I know that’s not the quality some people want, but I was pretty happy after only truelly hunting 3 days for deer. My experience has been pretty similar the last few years. If I want a chance at higher scoring deer, I’ll use up my points in other states that I can only hunt for every 4-8 years.
Montana doesn’t need to be the relief valve of people that don’t have opportunity in their own states or people that just want to shoot a deer. It’s ok to have deer that live through a season. It’s ok to hunt and not be successful.
 

nick87

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 12, 2014
Messages
3,303
Location
Northern Illinois
Wow what a depressing thread. I don’t want to see lost opportunities. I think making an antler point restriction (4 point or better) would make strides in helping age structure. I don’t want to see Montana turn into every other state where you can barely hunt Mule deer- I’d rather have a little less quality and more opportunity.
My experiences have been great the last few years. This year I spent the first 10 days of season hunting elk, in an area with not very many deer historically. Killed a mature bull, spent the third weekend of season on public land in SE Montana, in 1 1/2 days of hunting did turn up one heavy, mature buck, just didn’t have the tine length I was looking for that early in the season. The next weekend I headed to NE Montana, and shot my buck at noon on the first day there, after seeing well over a hundred deer, with pretty damn good bucks to doe ratios, and several mature bucks. For reference, mine was an old, heavy 3x4 with bases just shy of 6” and scoring in the mid 150’s.
I know that’s not the quality some people want, but I was pretty happy after only truelly hunting 3 days for deer. My experience has been pretty similar the last few years. If I want a chance at higher scoring deer, I’ll use up my points in other states that I can only hunt for every 4-8 years.
4 point restriction will help ensure that all the young bucks with 4 points will be killed and 3 points of the same age passed imo.
 

alecvg

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
9
Montana doesn’t need to be the relief valve of people that don’t have opportunity in their own states or people that just want to shoot a deer. It’s ok to have deer that live through a season. It’s ok to hunt and not be successful.
Hence why I said do a point restriction. Are people still going to shoot young 4 points? Certainly. But we will have many more young deer survive. I want deer to live through season, had I not found the mature deer , I would not have shot a buck, and would have been perfectly happy with that. There are plenty of doe tags to fill my freezer with. I am fine not being successful- there is a reason I hunted 70+ days this year, and only shot mature animals outside of my whitetail doe tag. I like having the opportunity. I also don't think that most of Montana is as bad as people want to let on- I have hunted and guided in decent units in Colorado and Idaho as well- and saw very similar age class, buck to doe ratios, and hunter numbers. I really don't think we are that overrun with hunters- I honestly can't think of more than 1/2 dozen other hunters that I saw in the field this year in 70+ days of hunting in Montana, outside of seeing guys in orange driving county roads.
 
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